Stellan is a part of the management team and came back in September after his parental leave. So, I asked him to sit down and have an interview with me. I hope you do like it.
Since 2012 Stellan is online strategist at Zooma and helping our friends to figure out how to best use online and digital to achieve tangible results.
Good to have you back on board, Stellan! Did you enjoy your parental leave?
Yes, it was great. We had our fourth child and built a new "smart" house. We moved just a few days before my parental leave. Then we left to live on an island in Thailand for a few months. The older kids went to school there, learned a lot, and we all enjoyed it.
Was it challenging to build a "smart" home?
Yes, there are many decisions to be made and technology is evolving quickly. You used to need expensive hardware and special wiring to control your house, but nowadays it's much easier to make your house smart. It's more a question of what level of smartness you are looking for.
You can control all the lights, heating, and appliances, as well as locks, doorbells, cameras and alarm system. Set by a fingertip or touch of a switch. Even when you go on vacation, you can control it remotely. That's pretty awesome.
Tell us a little about your background
My background is quite mixed. I studied law for four years and decided to specialise in patent law and branding and all of these kinds of trademarks and other intellectual assets. Then, after an interesting case study, I got interested in start-ups, so I applied for a master's education in innovation and entrepreneurship.
Nice! What happened after you graduated?
As part of the master program, my fellow students and I started a company and ran it for a couple of years. Then, in 2005, after merging with another company I decided that I wanted to start working with my personal passion – the internet. At that time, there were mail-order companies that had survived the dotcom crash and were moving their business online, so I started with the Ellos Group in early 2006. Here, I went from being in charge of online business development to being the e-commerce manager for Nordics and brand manager for one of the other brands.
How did you end up with Zooma?
During my time at Ellos, we did a project with Zooma.
In the pitch, Zooma was the only agency of all that respected our in-house knowledge.
So we sort of added our respective competencies, and it became a case of one plus one equals three. Years later our roads crossed again, and I had the opportunity to work for Zooma. That's an offer you can't refuse.
What are your responsibilities at Zooma?
It's a broad spectra. From working with senior management teams doing strategic work to supporting in-house specialists, creating information architectures for websites, analysing a website's performance, etc. So, everything from spending a full day in a workshop to sitting a whole day in front of a screen crunching numbers or something else.
What do you enjoy the most?
I think I enjoy the actual mix the most. I believe that variation allows you to gain new insights and to stay at the forefront. It keeps you on edge, and makes sure you're able to move between different types of tasks in a transformative world. And I've always been a person that seeks new knowledge and new understanding.
What is the difference between working in a company and an agency?
The big difference between working inside a company and being a consultant is basically that on the inside you get to see all the reasons why things happen the way they do. You are ultimately in charge of whether an initiative succeeds or not. And then when you are a consultant on the outside, you support the client and aim to maximise the outcome of their investment. Also, as a consultant, you see and learn a lot from different industries which is obviously different from working in a single vertical.
How was it to leave Zooma and to come back?
I think it's really valuable to be able to come back with fresh eyes. That's usually an opportunity that you only get when you change jobs or when you change role entirely within a company. So when you come back, you have one or two months where you can look at things as if you just started, even though you've been with the company for many, many years. Always maximize such an opportunity.
Thanks Stellan and welcome back on board!